I haven’t posted in forever! (So please indulge the girth of this post…it’s been sitting in my drafts for a while)
I’ve been talking to a lot of different people lately with different, opposing, or struggling views of God. Those who have no belief, apathetic belief, conditional belief, confused belief, emotional belief, and the like. I thought I might go through some of the tripping points that I’ve encountered from these conversations. My hope would be the ability to explain a “true” Christian perspective on these tripping points, debunking some “modern Christianity” lies that may have proliferated minds due to social inconsistancy or confusion.
What is the Bible? Is it unfair to use it to defend Christianity?
A problem some people have with Christianity is the arguement that God proves the Bible and the Bible proves God. This seems (and is) circular in nature. The Christian perspective is that the Bible is the true, inspired word of God. It consists of 66 books, written by over 40 authors over a span of thousands of years. Despite the differences in author situations, time periods, or cultural differences, these books are congruent and free of contradiction. This does not mean the Bible is free of difficulties. As a Christian who accepts the Bible as truth and as the book given to expound about God to mankind, it is the natural and appropriate response to use that accepted truth to explain God, because that is what the Bible “is.”
As a non believer you may choose to not accept the Bible as truth, but the Christian cannot make the same choice. Historically speaking the Bible has more “proof” of it’s accuracy than any ancient work. More manuscripts than any writings of Ceasar, Aristotle, Socrates, Homer, Plato (Combined). Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were Masoretic texts dating to 9th century. The biblical manuscripts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls push that date back to the 2nd century B.C. Doubters hoped they would see proof that our translations have changed and withered over time. Instead they found that the Bible’s accuracy has held up over time as the earlier copies were essentially identical despite the huge time gap. I would never expect someone to believe in God entirely on proofs or historicity, but I mention these things becuase the real question for a non believer to answer is “Is what the Bible says true?” and not “Is the Bible accurately translated.”
Why believe the Bible over other texts? (Book of Mormon, etc)
The Bible was written, as I said before, by over 40 different authors over thousands of years. It contains poems, narratives, accounts, biographies, prophesies, songs, prayers, and all of it works together in one congruent narrative. It contains hundreds of prophesies, hundreds of years apart by various authors that have been fulfilled. Other works do not hold up to textual criticism the way the Bible does. The Bible is not a collection of philosophies about what authors “claim” was real, but instead it is accounts of what “happened.” I believe that if someone chooses to read the Bible the truth found in scripture is evident. One of the saddest things to me is that people choose to live their entire lives with no consideration of God and the Bible. The book is there, pick it up and read it for yourself! ”IF” there really is a God, then you’ve taken a few moments on this earth to consider Him, to read what his followers claim is His inspired word. Isn’t eternity worth some earthly consideration? Christianity is not a sell, or a brainwashing, or a trick, even if some try to make it out to be. It’s followers of Christ, whose life, death, and ressurection is recounted in the New Testament of The Bible. If God does exist, then he exists whether or not you believe in him. This is why I implore people to not live 75 years of distracted life and not spend at least some honest time considering the claims of Christ.
What do hyppocrites prove about Christianity?
Christians who live hyppocritical lives (say one thing, live or do another) show that people are fallable and choose to follow their own desires while bearing the name of Christianity. The same way I can claim to be a mathmatician and yet insist that 2+2=10. It makes me a horrible mathmatician but that doesn’t make math “false” - it makes me “false.” Truth is truth regardless of those who claim to follow and fail at it. Those who bomb abortion clinics in the name of God abandon the real truth of Scripture and Christianity. Those who hold hate messages for homosexual people make the same error. These people do not truly follow Christ, they simply destroy His name on behalf of their self-driven causes. They’re terrible testimonies to Christ, but they do not prove or disprove truth.
Christians and tolerance
Christians are sometimes labeled intolerant because they claim that some things are right and some things are wrong. This is based upon absolute truth. I believe that some things are always true. (And so do you!). Even if you believe that everything is relative, you’ve already made an absolute claim that all things are relative. Honestly, I’m okay being labeled intolerant as long as people can understand what that really means. For instance a hot-button issue is homosexuality in today’s culture. God’s word makes clear the damage of sexual perversion, promiscuity, debauchery. Heterosexual or homosexual people lost in sexual perversion sin against God, because God designed sexuality within the framework of heterosexual marriage. Homosexuality is a sin the same way a heterosexual sexual sin is, the same way jealousy or lust or lying or idolotry are. Sin is a rebellion against God. Sin seperates us from God, and God designed us to have fellowship with Him and not to to live in any type of sin. He wants us to have felowship through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. As a Christian I am intolerant of all sin, not just “hotbutton sin” that rises and falls in society. I accept God’s word as truth, and his word contains precepts for living that we should follow. Not simply because God says so (though that is enough) but with the knowledge that such precepts are meant for better living here on earth because God knows what’s best for us. It doesn’t take a genius to see the damaging “real-life” consequences of sexual perversion (adultury, disease, divorce, depression) or lying (broken relationships/trust) or theft (consequences of breaking the law, jealousy, envy).
I actually have a few other ones I wanted to get into, but this post is long enough. I realize that people have different and opposing viewpoints, but hopefully this helped at least in a small way to build an understanding of true Christianity vs. your perceptions or mis-conceptions. I guess I will close simply with the personal testimony that a relationship with the living God is the best thing you could pour yourselves into. All the money, posessions, or temporary pleasures of this world end up fleeting and empty, and ultimately left behind in death. Christ, through his sacrifice on the cross, redeemed mankind and accounted for the sin we all know we are guilty of (lying, stealing, lust, selfishness, jealousy, greed, etc..). Before your life is over, consider giving it to him. He gave his up for you.
Want to browse the Bible online? http://www.biblegateway.com
Comments, questions, confusion? Feel free to post a comment…